Six Worcester Ladies named in England World Cup squad

Six Worcester Ladies players have been selected for England’s 26-strong squad for the World Cup in France next month.

Worcester players Ceri Large, Katherine Merchant, Lydia Thompson, Rochelle Clark, Heather Fisher and Laura Keates, are all named in the squad, with England's first group game against Samoa on August 1 before clashes with Spain and Canada.

Exciting Worcester wing Thompson, 22, will feature at her first World Cup while former Warriors Community Coach Tamara Taylor is also in the squad.

Captained by fly-half Katy McLean, the squad features nine players making their tournament debut.

England Women's Rugby Union Coach Gary Street said: “We have a balance of new players hungry for a first World Cup but also more experienced heads.”

Two of those experienced players, prop Clark and lock Taylor, will be hoping to make it third time lucky after playing in the 2006 and 2010 World Cups. 

England have finished runners-up at the last three tournaments, but head to France with high hopes of finally toppling four-time champions New Zealand, who have beaten them in the last three finals.

All the pool games will be held at France's national rugby centre in Marcouiss, on the outskirts of Paris. The semi-finals and final will be played at the Stade Jean Bouin, home of Stade Francais.

England World Cup Squad

Claire Allan (Richmond)
Rachael Burford (Thurrock)
Natasha Hunt (Lichfield)
Ceri Large (Worcester)
La Toya Mason (Wasps)
Katy McLean (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks) (C)
Katherine Merchant (Worcester)
Amber Reed (Bristol)
Emily Scarratt (Lichfield)
Lydia Thompson (Worcester)
Danielle Waterman (Bristol)
Kay Wilson (Bristol)

Margaret Alphonsi (Saracens)
Rochelle Clark (Worcester)
Emma Croker (Richmond)
Rebecca Essex (Richmond)
Heather Fisher (Worcester)
Victoria Fleetwood (Lichfield)
Sophie Hemming (Bristol)
Sarah Hunter (Lichfield) (VC)
Laura Keates (Worcester)
Alexandra Matthews (Richmond)
Joanna McGilchrist (Wasps)
Marlie Packer (Wasps)
Claire Purdy (Wasps)
Tamara Taylor (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks)